9.19.2007,12:25 PM
My time machine
The special value of science lies not in what it makes of the world, but in what it makes of the knower." -James Street Fulton
Yesterday a colleague asked me, "So what is it that motorcycles do for you? Is it an adrenaline rush?"

I looked at him for a moment with many answers tumbling in my head, realizing that I could not explain them all.

"It is many things. Sometimes an adrenaline rush, yes. But much more than that."

On a bike I am the scientist, the poet, a microbe filled with an emptiness replaced by everything animate and inanimate around me. I ride the road of time, journey into the past where the present is a ghost shadowed by the future. I lose trace of myself and become a galaxy of every living thing I pass and the remnants of what came before. My younger self becomes a ghost like fossils in the deserts and my life a small microcosm compared to the eons of life that passed before me on the same ground, disappearing into time and leaving their imprint in organic and inorganic matter.

My mind transcends time even though it appears to be trapped inside my head. And there is no way I can prove that it is real. No way except within the mind itself. I have no refuge in time. Even amidst a crowd of people, I still see the reptile, the fish, the naked ape that we are still. Yet I also feel that which makes us human, apart from all the other living things. And the wonder still prevails over that knowledge of what damage and fear we, the tool makers, can wrought on this planet.

On a bike, on the road, passing all of this by, exploring, watching and experiencing, I am infused with joy for that which prevails and grieve for what is lost. Cursed with the knowledge of the power we exert over the natural path of adaptation and evolution, but tempered with hope that what remains can teach us how to appreciate and preserve it for our future.

Every experience on my rides accumulates and forms a new me. All that I experience becomes me.
I am what I am.

This is why I ride. It is my time machine through eternity.


posted by Macrobe
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